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The Mystery of Systemic Idiopathic Fibrosing
"There is nothing new under the sun." This is an often repeated saying that refers to the notion that no idea is truly an original idea. Because there is so much truth to the statement many people will apply it to other disciplines. For example, when a new disorder or disease is discovered many people assume that the disease may have been around for a long time. It's "discovery" really only coincides with the advent of advances in modern medicine which enabled the ability to identify the disorder.
Sadly, it is difficult to research a disorder that "did not exist" prior to its entering the public consciousness of the medical field. This can be problematic because research for a cure for the condition becomes limited. This is due to the fact that the condition existed under the proverbial radar for many years. Such conditions exist in all spheres of medicine including those that affect the skin. Such is the case with Systemic Idiopathic Fibrosing which is considered a relative "new" condition.
Escher Howard-Williams published a brilliant study via the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which points out a number of unique facts about systematic idiomatic fibrosing. Howard-Williams points out that this condition was first discovered in the year 2000 although records of cases date back to 1997. Prior to 1997, however, there are no recorded instances of this condition. To this is somewhat curious because many of the symptoms of this condition are quite commonplace. This condition causes a tightening of the skin they can lead to a number of complications in the areas that are affected. This includes burning, itching, and even severe pain.
This is far from a benign condition. Per the National Institute of Health, this condition (which almost exclusively affects those with renal problems) comes with a high mortality rate. Thankfully, the number of people affected with this condition are not widespread in numbers. However, even a small percentage is too much if it is leading to a number of fatalities. This is what makes this condition so frightening since it is considered only eleven years old.
Considering the fact that the condition is serious, it is doubtful that such a condition could exist below the radar for so long. So, perhaps it truly is a new condition. But, if it is then what was the factor that caused it? At the present time, the answer this question is unknown...
http://med.unc.edu/wrkunits/2depts/medicine/web/01.26.07 Howard-Williams NFD.ppt